Family came first with O'Sullivan, who died at 87 on June 22 in Scotts-dale Healthcare hospital in suburban Phoenix. The daughter of a British Army major, she came to Hollywood at 18 from Ireland. "She embodied all the things you hear about Irish people," recalls longtime agent John Springer. "She was warm, generous, kind and loving." Adds her daughter Stephanie Soghoian, 49, a New York City homemaker: "She was quickwitted, sharp as anything."
In the 1930s and '40s, O'Sullivan took roles in such classics as Anna Karenina and Pride and Prejudice. But during her 27-year marriage to director John Farrow, who died in 1963, she scaled back her career to raise their four daughters and three sons. Mia once called her "a terrific mother, full of fairy tales."
O'Sullivan married construction company exec James Cushing in 1983 and spent her last years between New Hampshire, Schenectady, N.Y., and Phoenix, often visiting her 30-plus grandchildren. "She didn't exercise, loved sweets, desserts and champagne," says Soghoian. "She knew how to enjoy life."